Difference Between French Bread and Baguette

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy all types of bread – including French bread and baguettes. But if you go to the store and find both options on the shelf, you’ll notice one thing – they’re pretty similar. Are they the same thing, though? Not exactly.

French bread is longer and wider compared to a baguette and includes fats. It also has a softer crust, yet it is still relatively crunchy. French bread does not require “special equipment” like baguettes, making it easier to bake at home.

Hey! I’m Michelle, and I love bread. I would eat bread all day long if I could! As much as I love and adore bread, it’s unsurprising that I enjoy learning about loaves, too. And that’s why I wanted to take a closer look at the differences between French bread and baguettes.

Keep reading to learn the differences between these popular bread styles!

French Bread vs Baguette: 5 Key Differences

Before we dive into the differences, I will note that there are many French bread types out there. However, for the sake of this article, we’re focusing on the bread labeled “French bread” at the local US grocery stores.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are the top five differences between French bread and baguettes. (By the way, if you’re curious about the difference between French and Italian bread, you can read about it here!).

1. French bread is longer 

If you place a loaf of French bread and a baguette next to each other, the first difference you will see is that the French bread is noticeably longer.

2. French bread is wider

The other tall-tell indicator you’ve got a French bread loaf, not a baguette, is that French bread loaves are considerably wider than baguettes.

3. French bread is softer

Baguettes can be described as weapons. OK, not really. But they are indeed impossibly crispy on the outside and beautifully chewy on the inside. That’s why people love them!

French bread, on the other hand? Well, while the exterior is still relatively crispy, it doesn’t stand a chance against the baguette’s crispiness. It also has a more lightweight and airy interior, creating a softer bite that many people enjoy.

4. French bread doesn’t require special equipment

Baguettes undergo a different baking process compared to French bread. For instance, bakers typically use special proofing pans and cloths for the proofing stage, while French bread doesn’t need any of these unique pieces of equipment.

That said, one could argue that French bread is easier and less expensive to make. However, you don’t get the famous crispy and chewy combo the baguette offers. If you’re baking baguettes specifically, you won’t want to cut corners!

5. French bread contains fats

A baguette is a type of French bread, which can make things all the more confusing. But French bread cannot be considered a baguette. Wait, what?

It all has to do with the ingredients. If a type of bread – such as French bread – contains any kind of fat, it cannot be French bread, as baguettes have zero fat.

Well, take a look at the recipe for French bread. What’s included? Olive oil. When you see “olive oil” as a listed ingredient, you can confidently say that it’s French bread and not a baguette.


Pretty interesting information, right? Who would’ve known that French bread and baguettes were so different? If you’re still seeking more info, here are a few commonly asked questions you might want to check out!

What makes baguette bread different?

The thing that sets baguettes apart from other bread types is the texture. The crispy crust and the chewy inside make it a top-notch option for topping, dipping, etc. It can be used in many applications, including bread pudding!

Does baguette mean bread in French?

Baguette does not mean “bread” in France. The French word for bread is “pain.” However, baguette does mean “rod or wand,” which makes sense for the baguette loaf of bread. After all, it’s relatively hard on the exterior and has a decent amount of length to it.

Why do baguettes taste better in France?

France has impeccably high standards for its bread. They know exactly where the flour comes from and which grains are used for milling. The result is a heartier and more delectable loaf you simply can’t find elsewhere.

French Bread Is Pretty Different from Baguettes!

Although many people use the words French bread and baguette interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. French bread contains fat (olive oil) and is wider, longer, and softer than baguettes. There’s also no specialty equipment involved, making it the easier and less expensive choice!

Are you a baguette fan, or do you prefer regular French bread? Do you have any other differences you’d like to add?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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